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Forests in India- Types & Facts

Published on Thursday, November 23, 2017

  • As per the recent Indian state forest report which was released in 2015 the total forest and tree cover in India is 79.42 million hectares 
  • Out of total geographical area of India, area covered by forests is 24.16 percent. 
  • India has been trying to achieve to put 33 per cent of its geographical area under forest. 
  • Presently NDA government decided to spend 6.2 billion dollars (Rs. 41,000 cr) to increase India’s forest cover. 
  • Between 2013 and 2015 The forest cover has increased by 5081 square kilometers in India 
  • Among all the states Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in India followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha. 
  • State having highest forest cover as % of its area: Mizoram (88.93 per cent) 
  • Out of total are covered by forests in India, the maximum share is of Moderate Dense Forests, followed by Open Forests. 
  • Lakshadweep Island has zero per cent forest area where as Andaman and Nicobar Islands have 86.93 per cent. 
  • Most of the states with less than 10 per cent of the forest area lie in the north and northwestern part of the country. 
  • India is one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of forest area. Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, United States of America, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, Indonesia and Sudan. Together, India and these countries account for 67 percent of total forest area of the world. 
  •  In India, Protection and conservation of forests is done through implementation of Forest Conservation Act (1980) and by establishment of protected areas. 
  • Till 2017, The Government of India has established 597 Protected Areas of which 95 are National Parks and 500 Wild Life Sanctuaries. These 597 protected areas cover 5 per cent of the geographical areas of the country. 
  • 21st March is celebrated as International Day of forests. The theme for 2017 is Forests and Energy. 

Types of forests in India:

  • Tropical Evergreen and Semi Evergreen forests 
  • Tropical Deciduous forests 
  • Tropical Thorn forests 
  • Montane forests 
  • Littoral and Swamp forests. 

Tropical evergreen forests found in

  • Westren slopes of western ghats 
  • Hills of North East India 
  • Andaman and Nicobar islands 

Tropical Deciduous forests:

  • It is also known as Monsoon forests. 
  • Based on amount of rainfall, these type of forests further divided into moist deciduous forests and dry deciduous forests. 
  • Moist deciduous forests found in the northeastern states along the foothills of Himalayas, eastern slopes of the Western Ghats and Odisha. 
  • Most of the Dry deciduous forests are found in the plains of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar along with some areas of peninsular India 

Tropical thorn forests found in

  • Semi-arid areas of south west Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, 

Montane forests:

  • These type of forests found in mountain regions. 
  • These type of forests are further divided into northern mountain forests and the southern mountain forests.

Types of forests and distribution of rainfall:

Type of forests Annual rainfall
Ever Green forests 2oo cm or more
Monsoon Deciduous forests 100 to 200 cm
Dry Deciduous forests 50 to 100cm
Thorn forests 25 to 50cm
Forests in Desert area Below 25 cm

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